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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Byers

Authority: Part 2

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

Christ is the radiance of God’s glory and upholds all things by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3). All power is His in heaven and on earth. Wondrously, we participate in His power for we have been raised up with Him, seated with Him in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). We already have authority because of our position in and with Him. Having authority over several spheres, we should use it well, first over our own minds, bodies and hearts. Even in the realm of darkness, true spiritual authority doesn’t come from yelling at the devil to feel powerful. We access our true spiritual authority by surrender and obedience to Christ, standing in who we know ourselves to be in Him. We learn to be under His authority first so that we might understand how to participate and increase in authority. Like David, we grow in our authority. David killed a bear and a lion, and in his zeal for the Lord’s reputation, then took on Goliath (I Sam. 17). If we have been tested, we too have authority to pick up one smooth stone and slay a giant. Often our smooth stone is a word we speak into a situation bringing clarity, wisdom, faith, healing and authority over darkness.

Another word for authority is command but command can turn into abuse apart from grace. We aren’t to throw our authority around as power over others, but we are to exercise it with wisdom and understanding. Occasionally Paul “commanded” those under his care, using his apostolic authority to instruct, correct and protect them (see 2 Thess. 3:6). He undergirded his authority with prayer because with authority comes responsibility, and Paul balanced that power with care and humility. Humility is the strength and stamina of our authority. The misuse of spiritual authority has no place in the economy of the kingdom.

In Acts 8:5-24, Philip was preaching in Samaria and winning converts. Simon the magician was astonishing the crowds, claiming to be someone great and they called him the “Great Power of God.” He reveled in it. Then Simon heard Philip’s preaching about Jesus, became a believer, was baptized and followed Philip. A new believer, yet immature and still enamored with the power of witchcraft. When Peter and John came down from Jerusalem and laid hands on new believers to receive the Holy Spirit, Simon was so impressed he offered Peter money for “this authority.” Peter, refusing the money, rebuked him for his bitterness and evil intentions. Strong words indeed, but God does not intend his beloved ones to misuse spiritual authority. The glory belongs to the One who rules far above every other authority, power and dominion (Eph. 1:21). Let us carry His authority and represent His power and presence well.

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